So I signed a contract to publish my book. It’s a memoir, and it’s going to be called “Princess of Pirates: Or, How I Ran Away to Sea.” If you read this blog regularly, you know that. If you didn’t, you do now. If you remember the post from a year ago announcing the book, you may even be wondering, “What is the freakin’ holdup with that damn book?!”
My editor, Brenda Knight, resigned today, citing, I think, “irreconcilable differences” with the new management. Start Publishing, which bought my publisher, Cleis Press/Viva Editions, a few months ago, is taking over, and will more than likely have to begin the process of hiring another editor. Heaven only knows how long that will take, and there was already a backlog of several manuscripts waiting to be edited when Brenda resigned, mine among them.
Obviously I want them to take their time and find as good an editor as possible. I’m a part-time editor myself, and I know a good editor can take a so-so manuscript and make it so good you want to cram it down your throat. (See, a good editor would have made me change that line.)
But even prior to Brenda’s leaving, there was a huge publication delay as they worked through the sale, and that is pretty much why I stopped blogging temporarily. My wonderful agent Anna, whom I love in a way beyond all human comprehension, recommended I blog anyway. She said I can build excitement about the book’s release. So here I am. Meanwhile, Anna’s taken care of everything for me, from frantic emails to calling my (now former) editor to repeatedly stroking my pathetic and yet nevertheless strangely stroke-receptive ego.
When I left New York, I was broke and despondent and pretty much felt like a failure. My only consolation was that moving back in with my parents would allow me to save the money I needed to take this epic sailing voyage and write a book about itmoney I never would have been able to save while living in New York. That part actually went off without much of hitch (except when I missed my flight home from the Azores, but that’s a blog post for another day).
You know what happens next. I made the proposal, went to sea, came back, and wrote the book. My agent and my editor couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. I figured everything else would fall into place if I could just get that one book under my belt. So I waited. One month turned into two, then three, then six, then nine. My editor still hadn’t read the book, and now it looks like she never will. I’m still underemployed. I always figured I could look for a “real job” after the book came out, and that having a book might give me a leg up in doing so.
But now, here I am, still no book, still no release date, and still stuck in the unenviable position of still having to figure out the entire rest of my lifewhere I’m going to live, what I’m going to do, how to stave off the inevitable day when parents have to heave me and all my meager belongings out the door. (Hint: win a lawnmower in a Shop Your Way sweepstakes and give it to them. It’s the best idea I’ve come up with yet). And now-bonus!-not even the reassurance of an editor to tell me this all-important step will ever take place.
I always knew a published book would be the first step toward catapulting me into that mythical upper echelon of writers, the ones that seem able to make a living while still having time to travel the world. I don’t know precisely how that upper echelon works; or whether anything I’ve done or will do will be enough to put me in it. I don’t need to sell 200 million copies. I really don’t.
I just want to be able to make a living doing what I do best. I know there are many variations of that, and I’m willing to consider all of them. I’m not afraid of hard work, or more work, or having to have patience.
Still, having a book would help. At least it would make me legitimate in the eyes of most people who counted. I thought it would help me not feel like a fraud when I tell people I wrote a book. (“Oh, cool! When is it coming out?” “I, uh, don’t know.” *Slinks off*)
And then today, the person I was counting on to help usher me through those gates is no longer in the ushering business. (Now she’s working with Blink-182. But I guess they need her more than I do, right?)
So where does that leave us? Essentially, at the exact same place I was when I posted more than year ago. I guess the only difference is that the book, this time, is written.
(In case anyone was wondering, yes, I am working on another book. A novel this time. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it lately, but I hope to finish it before the end of the year. So I got that going for me, I guess?)
So, anyway, good news, everybody! Get excited! My book will be out…sometime. Probably. And after that, maybe my life can begin.
(Also, in other news, Princess of Pirates has a Twitter account! And it’s totally different from my regular Twitter account! You’ll have to check it out to see exactly what I mean.)